RockYou borrows $10m for recycled titles

Doesn't have "a single game in development"

RockYou, social games developer turned game recycler, has borrowed $10 million in funding from financial startup FastPay to continue its unusual business model.

CEO Lisa Marino told TechCrunch that the company doesn't have "a single game in development." It instead buys old games and adds advertising and virtual items.

"What we're doing is taking games past their prime and managing and monetizing them through their lifecycle for years to come."

Its current stable of titles includes Words of Wonder, Gardens of Time, City Girl Life and Millionaire City. The company claims a user base of 75 million players, 300 to 500 million monthly impressions and a revenue growth of 250 percent year-on-year.

The company also raised $3,260,000 in funding in March.

In 2012 RockYou was forced to pay $250,000 in Federal Trade Commission (FTC) civil penalty after it was ruled the company had failed to protect the personal information of 32 million users and violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule by collecting data from nearly 179,000 children.

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Latest comments (4)

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development3 years ago
As if it's not hard enough reading how the Kardashian game makes 8 trillion a minute, I then read about bottom feeders such as this also doing well.

As an indie mobile developer trying to actuallly make good stuff but struggling to keep the wolf from the door, this pisses me off immensely. Just thought I'd drop that here, nothing useful to say. What would that be?!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 1st August 2014 8:28am

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Matt Jeffries Senior Producer, Telstra3 years ago
If this company was just re-releasing old PC or Amiga games, would you be so negative? Why exactly does this piss you off "immensely"?
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I agree with Matt. You could look at it from another angle - these games have millions of fans who regularly enjoy playing them and they were created by a committed group of developers. If RockYou didn't buy them, there is a good chance the games would have been shut down allowing their developers/publishers to apply resources towards higher-earning titles. The hard work of the development team would have been forgotten and the players would be left without a game they love.

RockYou is enabling these games to live-on.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Alex Manessi on 4th August 2014 2:29pm

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Rafa Ferrer Localisation Manager, Red Comet Media3 years ago
Granted, Alex, you may be right about that, but I can't help seeing that as a side effect that was not at all their intention.
From what I've checked, besides a futuristic version of Tower Bloxx, which hardly qualifies, they are not re-releasing classic titles with any nostalgia value to players (that I know of at least) and adding extra value to them. Instead, their pool of games is fairly generic, and there's not a single mention of how "players can play this classic again" in their game descriptions, which I would definitely use if that was the case, so I think catering to a community who were left without their favorite games was the last thing on their mind when they thought of that business model.

"What we're doing is taking games past their prime and managing and monetizing them through their lifecycle for years to come."
They don't seem to need or want any sugar coating at all. Speculation is their business and they're OK with it, which is completely fine by me as far as business goes, although my respect will stay with creative game developers.
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